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— The South Arkansas Arts Center has announced a culinary opportunity for aspiring bakers in conjunction with its summer musical production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” states a news release.

El Dorado native Chef Lilli Ellen will teach two afternoons of French bread and pastry techniques in her “Bon Baguette” class. The “hands on” classes will be held from 1-4 p.m. on June 29 and June 30 in the professional kitchens at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Chef Ellen will demonstrate a rustic baguette during the class on Saturday, and a delicate French pastry dough - ‘pate a choux’ - and pastry cream for eclairs during the Sunday afternoon class. Participants will take home their fresh-baked creations each day.

Tickets for the French bread and pastry classes are $55 for the two days of classes. For more information or to register, call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

“Le petit boulangerie d’amusement is French for ‘fun little bakery’ and that’s what we will be those two afternoons,” the chef said about the class. “I love bread making. It can be as hard or as simple as you want it to be.”

Ellen attended the Culinary Institute of America, the country’s oldest and most prestigious culinary school. She added that going to the culinary school was a fun, but challenging, experience. Her extensive culinary resumé includes pre and post-education experience as a cook, chef and baker.

“She has at least 4,000 baguettes to her credit so she is the perfect instructor to lead this dough adventure,” the news release states.

After some traveling around and working in different kitchens to give her some experience, Ellen now resides in El Dorado and is the upcoming chef director of the Culinary Arts Program at South Arkansas Community College, which will begin in August.

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